With the advent of streaming platforms, it is increasingly rare to find yourself in front of the television zapping between generalist channels. There is always a series to recover, a documentary to see, a new feature film to enjoy or watch. TV is gradually assuming the marginal role that insiders expected, especially as regards the younger ones. According to Censis report on average, the under 30s use the news as much as the web and social media to get information. Furthermore, almost half of the sample analyzed by the report goes to Youtube even when they want to watch a television broadcast. By now the first seven channels of the remote control are used only when you have to show up for the appointment with a live program that you are particularly fond of and that you have been following for a long time, which as far as I’m concerned means Live propaganda in thethe first evening of Friday.
The program conducted by Diego Bianchi has become the only reference for hundreds of thousands of spectators who do not find a similar product in the television schedule. Telling current events with a light-hearted and never banal gaze, to use the words by the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, is the distinctive feature of a program that has been able to win the affection of many people. Unfortunately, however, viewing the world from a progressive point of view no longer seems to be a priority for state television. If the Mediaset networks have never shone for the presence of programs capable of satisfying the tastes of people who vote on the left, Rai, in the relatively recent past, has broadcast highly successful programs followed above all by those that are today classified as radical chic. The eighth dwarf – which in turn represented the heir of programs such as Tunnel, Leftovers or the Goofy Chennedy Show – it was a real cult, as well as being the first format that has unconsciously brought many young people from the Second Republic closer to Italian news and political events.
The Rai broadcasts of the past had a much more pronounced comic-satirical trait compared to Live propaganda. Zoro focuses on identity and cultural issues with a brazen approach, but in any case less irreverent towards power than the programs aired on state television now more than twenty years ago. The “S.ocial Top Ten “and Makkox’s admirable works cannot be compared to Silvio Berlusconi by Sabina Guzzanti or Giulio Tremonti by Corrado Guzzanti for intensity, brazenness and insolence, but nevertheless Zoro’s program seems to be the natural evolution of that way of doing television which, after all, aimed at strengthening a progressive cultural identity in opposition to a certain conservative conformism. Without the program conducted by Diego Bianchi today there would be nothing to counteract the reactionary narrative that occupies entire television networks (any reference to the fourth channel is purely coincidental). The ability to combine parody with insight pays off Live propaganda a transmission different from the others, necessary to have a minimum of balance in the television story of Italy today.
Friday’s prime time program on La7 was not spared from criticism and controversy. To name two, we recall the non-participation of Rula Jebreal due to the low female presence among the guests and theaffaire Roberto Angelini. A former worker of the restaurant owned by the guitarist of the Propaganda orchestra he had in fact reported the irregularities that emerged during the employment relationship and Angelini made the affair public with a questionable post on Facebook. We know that in the age of social media, controversy and criticism are part of the game: the ability to admit your mistakes and the constant desire to get involved are the ingredients that make Diego Bianchi’s show more attractive than many other products of generalist television.
On the other hand, to understand the success of Live propaganda you have to start from afar. Diego Bianchi first gained popularity thanks to Zoro tolerance that starting from December 2007 has told the suffering of a generation that was born a communist and has progressively weakened behind the flags first of the left-wing democrats and then of the democrats and that’s it. Zoro told this story through the eyes of a militant who had distributed copies of theUnit around Rome. From the first episodes of Zoro tolerance many things have changed now. The Democratic Party has faced the consequences unleashed first by the financial crisis of 2008 and then by the pandemic by flattening itself on the Christian Democratic positions of an ever smaller middle class. The pride of leftist militants who claimed a morality different from their opponents has been tarnished by dozens of investigations and scandals. Historic places, such as Piazza San Giovanni in Rome, have been abandoned and left in the hands of the sovereign right. Live propaganda, perhaps without even really wanting to, she found herself forced to fill the chasm opened by thirty years of failures by the ruling class of the center-left parties. A broadcast that has become a safe haven for those who want to look to the future with the same eyes full of hope that the demonstrators in the squares of the past had.
The unexpected electoral defeat of the center left in the 2013 elections – which went down in history due to the sentence of the then secretary of the Democratic Party Pierluigi Bersani according to which the progressive area had “not won”- he also brought with him the end from Zoro tolerance. Thus, Diego Bianchi becomes a television host giving life to Gazebo, broadcast aired in the late evening on Rai 3, which immediately garnered excellent reviews from viewers who were orphaned of Serena Dandini and the Guzzanti brothers. After just four years, Rai, however, yes let it escape the transmission in favor of La7, without finding any product capable of worthily replacing the space left empty by Zoro and his companions. A short-sighted choice by a state TV that seems to have given up the desire to broadcast cultural broadcasts with a strong identity, capable of creating a sense of belonging among viewers. Later the program changed its name to Live propaganda. The last few seasons have kept us company during the months of lockdown and Friday evenings in the red zone. Diego Bianchi made a virtue of necessity by dusting off the ancient format of Zoro tolerance to tell the facts, moods and sensations of a historical period as difficult as it is unprecedented.
The continuous run-up to the trend of the moment produced a television unable to create deep bonds between viewers and broadcasts. Live propaganda it is a happy exception that manages to create moments of sharing between a heterogeneous community of people who practically no longer have public places available in which to discuss and laugh. Continued divisions on the left have inevitably produced an atomization of the electorate, which in turn has produced a weaker and more fragmented community. The success of Rai broadcasts such as The eighth dwarf or The girls’ TV it is the result of a different time, when unity represented a value even among the militants or simple sympathizers of the left parties. As in the past, television should be the bearer of identity values without chasing only the data ofaudience. Broadcasts with a strong character represent an anchor for those who do not want to resign themselves to the show as an end in itself. Diego Bianchi together with his guests reminds us every week how nice it is to share the same values, to find oneself in a united community. Perhaps, a television with more programs of this type would be able to reduce the level of sterile confrontation that we record every day on talk shows and on social networks. Unfortunately, however, programs capable of strengthening identity with a smile are disappearing completely from television, which is why it is fortunate that it exists. Live propaganda and it is so important that it continues to exist.